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Re: This is what's missing from LilyPond....

From: David Raleigh Arnold
Subject: Re: This is what's missing from LilyPond....
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2001 07:06:50 -0400

Again, let me plead the cause of tab for other instruments than
guitar, especially banjo and those numerous 3 stringed folk
instruments tuned with a fourth and a unison.

The simplest way is to list the note locations up-right giving
string and fret, as e1 b2 etc., or as ef bcis etc., hashing the
notes on each string simply by listing them in order.  In that
way, the time values do not have to be specified in two locations,
and the pitch can differ, too, as in writing harmonics or bent
notes or irregular fretting, and nothing special has to be done. 
If a note is bent, the
notes show the true pitch and the tab shows the fret that the
finger is on, so one might have d4, a quarter note d, in the
notes, and gcis, the 6th fret on a g string, which would be a cis
if you weren't bending it up to d, in the tab.  This is not the
standard way of doing it, but the standard way is stupid and
confusing especially to its intended targets.  If the tablature
gives a fret and the notation gives a higher note with the letter
U or the word ``bend'' over it, believe it or not, the beginner is
able to figure it out, because he knows that the notation is the
sound and the tab is *fingering*.

The \tab has to also list the parts to be included in making the
tab.  Rests, tied notes, and grace notes are best ignored.  If
someone is specifying notes by pitch on a string, they are
hashed into fret numbers, so you are really giving a fret
number.  Also such pitches do not have to be relative to anything,
just unique.

An automatic system for beginning bonehead guitar players will not
be suitable for electric guitar or other instruments.

I don't know a typeface that gives string-ring indications as (A)
(D), etc., but there is a "go" typeface that gives enough numbers
in rings for any stringed instrument that I know of.  It's not as
good as a note, but a lot better than nothing.

Thank you very much for the copyright notice.  It is not just for
selfish reasons that I wanted it, but also to make lilypond more
usable for all.  One's refusal to copyright one's own stuff is a
license to steal it, and even if it has no commercial interest
whatever one can lose *all* his rights, especially including the
right of *revision*.  It is a terrible position to be in to have
some thieving son-of-a-bitch not allow you to rework your own
stuff.  The smart thing to do is to put a copyright notice on
*everything* that you write.

I have been well aware for over forty years that the C for 4/4
derives from the half circle, but it is still an abbreviation,
still typographically a letter C, and I think that is the issue. 
It is better to use abbreviations to abbreviate.  :-)

As for chord diagrams, given some sort of template they can easily
be drawn with xfig.  The problem is fitting them into the music. 
The most
flexible way would be to have each chord in a separate file, also
containing its pitches and the name of the chord, and use
\include, and you could have midi too.  No one has *ever* done
that!  (exactly)  

Peace, understanding, health and happiness to all beings!
       ars sine scientia nihil
              David Raleigh Arnold   address@hidden

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